Monday, May 14, 2018

DB Bistro & Oyster Bar Part II

Contrary to the title, this was just one of the many visits we made to DB Bistro (was just too lazy to take photos or blog about it).

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The Place

DB Bistro's interior is reminiscent of a classic Parisian brasserie, albeit more contemporary. I personally like the leather booth seats that line the middle and corners of the restaurant.

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Complimentary Bread

We started off with some rather dry foccacia and baguette (thank god for the butter!), which helped to stave off the hunger pangs. 

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Lobster & Cauliflower Gratin

The side of Lobster & Cauliflower Gratin was pretty good; chunks of lobster and cauliflower in a cheesey, gooey gratin. I personally would have liked it a little richer and less watery but still good nonetheless.

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Wild Mushrooms

Another of our side, the wild mushrooms provided an earthy taste to minimize the nausea. Rather generous portions.

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Spaghetti “Nero”

Al dente squid ink pasta served with sizeable chunks of prawn and calamari and topped with a mildly spicy, savoury lobster sauce and cheese. Pretty good in my humble opinion.

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Maine Lobster Roll

The Maine Lobster Roll came across as decent. The bun was slathered in butter and pan fried but came across as a wee bit too soft (probably been sitting around for a while) whilst the chunks of lobster had more of a vegetable taste to them due to the avacado and tomato served alongside. Would have preferred a pure, unadulterated crustecean taste instead. Shoestring fries on the side were nice and crisp but a tad too dry for my liking.

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Durian “Royale” Soufflé

The king and queen of fruits in one dessert; Mao Shan Wang (猫山王) souffle with mangosteen ice cream. The souffle came across as fluffy with a relatively strong smell and taste of durian whilst the ice cream was a little tart and creamy, which provided a nice counterbalance.

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Bill

Food was very decent but pricing is definitely on the high side (branding + location I guess). Service was excellent.


Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 7/10
Value for money: 6.5/10

Overall: 7.25/10

Address: B1-48, Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Contact: 6688 8525

Opening Hours:


LUNCH
MON, TUE, WED, THU, FRI: 12:00pm - 5:30pm

WEEKEND BRUNCH
SAT, SUN: 11:00am - 5:30pm

DINNER
SUN, MON: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
TUE, WED, THU, FRI, SAT: 5:30pm - 11:00pm

Brunch is served on weekends only.

Website: https://www.dbbistro.com/singapore/

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Wolfgang's Steakhouse Singapore - Salty, Salty, Salty

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We were having lunch at Wolfgang Steakhouse, which has outlets in New York, Tokyo, Hawaii and now Singapore. There has been alot of hype surrounding the opening of its Singapore outpost but I've honestly never of it. Apparently Wolfgang used to be the head waiter at the legendary Peter Luger for 40 years before his son convinced him to come out of retirement to open the first Wolfgang Steakhouse in Manhattan.

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The Place

Seated on the 2nd floor of the relatively new Intercontinental Singapore @ Robertson Quay (which took over the previous Gallery Hotel), the steakhouse exudes class and familiarity with its predominantly wooden interior, leather backed seats and limited views of the surrounding Robertson Quay through full length windows. It can get a little warm during the day though if you sit next to the windows.

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Complimentary Bread

The bread basket consisted of baguette and onion bread. The former wasn't warm and came across as rock hard (not even the butter could save it) whilst the latter was fragrant but rather dry; even worse than the recently inferior one from Morton's. 

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Lobster Mac & Cheese

I think the QC on this was pretty bad. One side of it was overly charred (which gave it a bitter taste), while the other side was nicely done. Overall the non burnt portion was decent; gooey but a tad bland with a few pieces of lobster in it.

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Sizzling Bacon

This thick cut of bacon came across as chunky with a good meat to fat ratio and a nice, crispy surface. However not as well done as Peter Luger's in my humble opinion.

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Sauteed Mushrooms

Assorted mushrooms with onions and a whole lot of salt

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Pasta Pescatore

Al dente pasta topped with shrimp, lobster, clams and calamari. Unfortunately the marinara sauce tasted a little too watered down and not the least bit spicy (contrary to the description on the menu). Somehow this dish lacked any oomph.

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Sirloin

This was part of the Taste of New York Set from the lunch menu. ~320g sirloin (inclusive bone, which worked out to be about 4 very thick slices of meat). The crisp exterior belied a chewy, medium rare center which was tender and juicy. However it was a little too salty for my liking (and trust me, I have a high tolerance for salt). Thankfully the restaurant's special sauce, a cross between BBQ sauce and ketchup, helped masked the saltiness.

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Apple Strudel

A rather average dessert with the filo pastry a little too drenched from the sauce and an almost overwhelming taste of cinnamon. The apple slices were on the sourish side but the sweetness from the raisins balanced that out rather well. Nothing in the league of Morton's or Ruth Chris honestly.

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New York Cheesecake

This was half a portion of cheesecake and came with the Taste of New York Set. To be honest, this was very good and definitely the best dish of the entire meal. Rich and dense layer at the top with a soft, spongy middle. Not overly sweet and better than alot of cheesecakes I've eaten.

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Key Lime Pie

First time trying a Key Lime Pie and it was decent with the lime curd texture a little gelatin like and not too tart, on a crumbly biscuit crust.

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Bill

Lunch for the 4 of us came up to almost $300, which isn't very expensive for a reputable steakhouse. Unfortunately food in general isn't too spectacular maybe because of the high salt content (we ordered a burger as well but had to send it back to the kitchen because the patty and onion rings were ridiculously salty. To their credit, the replacement dish was alot less salty). On the upside, service was excellent; attentive, friendly and obliging.


Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 6/10
Value for money: 6/10

Overall: 6.875/10

Address: #02-01 InterContinental Singapore

Contact: 6887 5885

Opening Hours:

LUNCH 11:30 ~ 15:30 (LO 14:30)
DINNER 15:30 ~ 23:30 (LO 22:30)

Website: https://wolfgangssteakhouse.sg/

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Bird Southern Table and Bar - Overhyped and Overrated

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The Bird Southern Table And Bar (or Yardbird) opened with much fanfare a few months back and being a big fan of fried chicken and waffles, I was most eager to try.

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The Place

Located on B1 of the upmarket Marina Bay Sands, The Bird's interior came across as rather cosy and inviting with the hanging neon lights, wooden beams and flooring and leather back sofa seats. I did find the noise level a tad high though, especially with the full house and rather loud music playing in the background. Definitely not a great place to have a conversation or for some peace and quiet for that matter. 

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Skillet Cornbread

This sounded really good on the menu but in reality it didn't quite impress. The bread was crumbly but I couldn't quite make out the taste of corn; the jalapeno taste dominated. Only saving grace, in my humble opinion, was the dollop of mildly sweet honey butter atop which was very rich and smooth.

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Shrimp ‘N’ Grits

I'm not quite a fan of grits (treated corn) but this was pretty decent; crunchy and sizeable prawns soaked in a savoury chicken jus and topped with slices of aged ham.

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Chicken ‘N’ Watermelon ‘N’ Waffles

The fried chicken was juicy and well marinated with a nice crisp skin. Best eaten on it's own and better than the now defunct Bird Bird but not as good as Wakadori Jidai Naruto Honten (若鶏時代なると本店) in my humble opinion. The side of watermelon proved to be interesting; mildly spicy, sweet yet sour at the same time. Not quite my cup of tea. I liked the waffles though - crisp, fragrant and went well with the bourbon maple syrup.

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Macaroni & Cheese

And the ubiquitous mac & cheese with an addition of bacon (+$5). The torchio pasta came across as al dente but I found the cheese a little bland and runny. Thank god for the chunks of bacon, which imbued the dish with a nice saltiness.

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Bill

The 6 of us chalked up about $310 for brunch, which wasn't too expensive but overall food quality wasn't great. Service was decent but I don't think I'll return anytime soon.


Final Verdict:

Ambience: 6/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 6/10 (7/10 for the fried chicken and shrimp)
Value for money: 6/10

Overall: 6.25/10

Address: B1-07 Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Contact: 6688 9959

Opening Hours:

LUNCH
Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 4:00pm

DINNER
Daily: 4:00pm - 11:00pm

DRINKS & LIGHT SNACKS
Monday - Friday: From 11:00am till late
Saturday - Sunday: From 10:00am till late

WEEKEND BRUNCH
SAT & SUN: 10:00am - 4:00pm

Website: https://www.marinabaysands.com/restaurants/american/the-bird-southern-table-and-bar.html

Monday, February 26, 2018

Wan Hao Part III - A Chinese New Year Eve Reunion Dinner

We deviated from our usual CNY eve reunion dinner venue. But with good reason. We had catered quite a spread from them for our dinner on the first day of CNY so it made more sense to vary the food. And so we settled on Wan Hao @ Marriott Tang Plaza; for the first seating at 6pm.

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Salmon and Crispy Fish Skin Yu Sheng

What was interesting about this yusheng was the addition of fried fish skin, which gave it an added crisp on top of the crackers. However I found this dish to be overly sweet as a whole, probably due to the ridiculously sweet candied kumquat. Still decent nonetheless but definitely a few notches below that of Imperial Treasure Cantonese's in my humble opinion.

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Braised Fish Maw in Superior Stock with Fungus and Wolfberry

I don't know if it's a good thing or bad thing but this soup tasted alot like Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup, albeit more refined. And it was rich without coming across as satiating. Coupled with a huge piece of dried fish maw (not the fried kind that is usually served), it received positive reviews around the table.

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Stir-fried Scallop, Coral Clam, Broccoli and Pine Nuts in XO Sauce

The scallops were sizeable and relatively sweet but the broccoli did come across as a tad too soft for my liking. I liked the coral clam though; mildly spicy with a mild chewiness to them.

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Deep-fried Lobster Meat with Yuzu Mayonnaise and Broccoli

This was an addition to our set and it turned out to be most disappointing. The lobster was coated in an overly thick layer of batter and deep fried; the meat came across as too soft and void of any crustacean sweetness. To compound matters, I couldn't quite make out any taste of yuzu in the mayonnaise. A literal waste of lobster meat if you ask me.

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Steamed Red Garoupa with Fermented Soya Bean and Chicken Floss

On to the more positive stuff. The steamed garoupa was fresh and topped with fermented soya bean and chicken floss, allowing the mild sweetness to contrast with the saltiness from the soya sauce. I'm not a fish person but I think this was pretty good. Not to mention that it was quite a size and alot of effort went into trying to finish it. And by that I mean belly space.

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Wan Hao Signature Crispy Chicken

Wan Hao's eponymous roasted chicken. It definitely wasn't as good as Lung King Heen's rendition in my humble opinion but it was very decent. The meat was tender and juicy but the skin could use a little more crispiness. The sweet potato fries atop were pretty good though; sweet, crisp and a tad spicy.

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Stewed 10-head Abalone, Dried Oyster and Mushroom wrapped in
Beancurd Skin, Black Moss and Seasonal Greens

Not a fan of dried oyster and I think too much oyster sauce went into this dish, giving rise to one huge plate of nausea. Definitely not something I would order again if I can help it.

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Wok-fried Glutinous Rice and Chinese Sausage wrapped in
Lotus Leaf with Crispy Rice

This sounded promising but failed to deliver. It was almost like eating steamed dumpling with the soft and mushy steamed glutinous rice with a rather strong taste of waxed meat. Topped with rice crispies to perhaps compensate for the lack of texture? This dish lacked fragrance as well. In short, not great. We had a few spoonfuls and gave up.

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Deep-fried Nian Gao Pancake with Yam Paste

I actually like to eat nian gao (年糕) but this was way too oily and I could taste grease in every bite. I think the least they could do would be to blot out the oil with paper.

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Chilled Peach Resin with Sea Coconut, Red Dates and Dried Longan

A more upmarket version of cheng tng (清汤). Decent and it was nice to have something cold to end off the meal.

Dinner for the 6 of us came up to about $900, which was surprising given the quantity of food and definitely cheaper than our usual checks at Imperial Treasure. Food quality however, is a case of hits and misses and service, though decent, did seem a little lacking at times. For instance, when the fish was served, they didn't cut it up like the other restaurants. I guess its back to Imperial Treasure Cantonese next year...


Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7/10
Service: 6.5/10
Food: 6.5/10
Value for money: 7/10

Overall: 6.75/10

Address: 3F Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel

Contact: 6831 4605

Opening Hours:

Lunch: 12PM to 3PM
Dinner: 6.30PM to 10.30PM
Monday to Friday

Lunch: 11.30AM to 3PM
Dinner: 6.30PM to 10.30PM
Saturday , Sunday and Public Holiday

Website: http://www.singaporemarriott.com/restaurant/wan-hao-chinese-restaurant/

Monday, February 12, 2018

Bacon Brothers, Christchurch New Zealand - A Real Challenger To Fergburger

We culminated our South Island road trip with a decent stay at the Doubletree Hilton Christchurch and lunch at Bacon Brothers (or BB for short), the #1 restaurant in Christchuch on Tripadvisor.

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The Place

The stall is located within a food court (Little High Eatery) with other local and family run restaurants and you are free to seat anywhere and order from any stall. Basically you queue up to place your order and pay in exchange for a buzzer, which you will signal to you when your food is ready for collection. What's interesting about BB's menu is that alot of the items come with a free surprise - so don't be taken aback.

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Happiness In A Wrapper

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Zac The Builder ($11)

This has apparently been taken off the menu but it was decent while it lasted. The pulled pork came across as tender and the apple slices provided some crunch; sandwiched between fluffy buns with creamy avacado.

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Shane ($15)

Thick angus beef patty (sorry couldn't get a clear shot of it) topped with bacon, hash brown, cheese, egg, sausage and chorizo - awesomeness between 2 buns and a clear recipe for a heart attack. It was a wonder I didn't get one right after finishing it off. I liked the beef patty - tender with a bit of uneveness for that chewiness. The bacon strips were also nicely done without coming across as overly salty or dry. In short, a serious contender to Fergburger.

ps: I mentioned about a free surprise earlier, didn't I? With the Shane, you get a free handshake. Others, you get a hug, a wink, jazz hands or even a sing-along LOL.

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Our Burgers + Burnt Broccoli ($7)

We had a side of burnt broccoli and to be honest, it was quite nice especially with the pine nuts.

All in all, a great meal and well worth the queue + waiting time of almost 30mins (waiting time during peak periods can stretch up to almost an hour)


Final Verdict:

Ambience: NA
Service: NA (you queue up, place your order, pay and wait for your buzzer to light up)
Food: 7.5/10 (8/10 for the Shane)
Value for money: 8/10

Overall: 7.75/10

Address: 181 High Street, Christchurch

Contact: +64 21 287 4375

Opening Hours:

Mon to Wed & Sun - 8am to 10pm

Thurs to Sat - 8am to 12am

Website: https://baconbrothers.co.nz/

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Fergburger, Queenstown New Zealand - Better Than In-N-Out And Shake Shack

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Fergburger came highly recommended and it was imperative that we tried it at least once during our stay in Queenstown. Just for the record, we ate there twice. 

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The Place & Menu

Located smack within Queenstown's city centre, the place isn't big and can probably seat about 20 to 30pax tops (both indoor and outdoor combined). And getting a table isn't easy, not with the number of people queuing up to order and waiting for a seat. So go early if you want a table - based on my personal experience, before 10am on a weekday should be safe.

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The Innocuous Packaging

The menu is rather extensive for a burger joint and we had a tough time trying to decide what to eat. After much deliberation, we settled for Sweet Julie and Big Al.

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Sweet Julie

As far as chicken burgers go, this was pretty decent. The grilled chicken was mildly salty, tender and juicy with nice grill lines whilst the dressing came across as creamy (from the aioli) and mildly sweet (from the sweet chilli).Very sizeable as well.

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Big Al

One of the signature burgers of Fergburger - Big Al. Approximately 350g of tender yet coarsely minced patties (for that nice uneven texture) topped with lashings of grilled bacon, lots of cheese and two eggs - pure, unadulterated (and delicious!) sin in a paper bag. This was easily one of the best, if not the best burger I've had so far. Move aside Minetta Tavern, Shake Shack and In & Out though I have to say that Minetta Tavern's Black Label Burger and Shake Shack's Shack Stack® comes close. And only order this if you are hungry. I had a hard time trying to finish it off and had to resort to stop eating the buns, which weren't anything out of the ordinary anyway.

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Bill

2 burgers for NZD32.40; very reasonable if you ask me considering the quality, size of the burgers and the cost of food in Queenstown. Just be sure to go there early and with an empty stomach. If you have a choice of meat, definitely go with the beef burger.


Final Verdict:

Ambience: NA
Service: NA (you queue up, place your order, pay and wait for your number to be called)
Food: 8/10 (9/10 for the Big Al)
Value for money: 8/10

Overall: 8/10

Address: 42 Shotover St, Queenstown 9300, New Zealand

Contact: +64 3-441 1232

Opening Hours: 8am to 5am (21 hours) daily

Website: https://www.fergburger.com/

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Gelato Milkshake

I had this from another visit. The milkshakes were from an affiliate store (Mrs Ferg Galateria) and were pretty good; thick, creamy and very filling. A good accompaniment to the burgers if you need something sweet.